Meet Dr. Joan Schiller
Oncologist and Lung Cancer Specialist

Holder of the:
Andrea L. Simmons Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research

As a medical oncologist on the lung cancer team at Simmons Cancer Center, Joan Schiller, M.D., has a way with patients that makes them feel like they are getting the best care for their disease from one of the nation’s top doctors in the field. That’s because they are.

Dr. Schiller is Professor and Chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Deputy Director of Simmons Cancer Center. She is founder and president of Free to Breathe, a partnership for lung cancer survival.

People who’ve never smoked who get lung cancer frequently have very unique mutations in their tumors. The good news is there are now medications that specifically target these mutations, and by using them there’s an excellent chance of having a very dramatic response.”

Prevention, early detection, and personalized treatment of lung cancer are her passions. While 85 percent of lung cancer patients have smoked, there is a rising percentage of lung cancer developing in never-smokers, particularly in women. Yet women have a better chance of survival from the disease than men. Early detection is a major factor in treatment strategy, as is the makeup of a patient’s cancer.

Working with her colleagues in radiation oncology and thoracic surgery, Dr. Schiller focuses her work on treatment of small cell and non-small cell lung cancer. She is an expert in matching the medication (chemotherapy) to the tumor to achieve maximum results.

James Willson and Joan Schiller walking
Dr. Joan Schiller (left) with Dr. Jim Willson, Director of Simmons Cancer Center.